Holt Wood

LAND Region: 
EnglandSouth West
LAND Project Type: 
LAND Centre

Holt Wood is an forest garden project designed to offer a sustainable source of medicinal and other non-timber products.

Our project at Holt Wood shows how a conifer plantation can be transformed into a medicinal wood offering a viable and sustainable source of medicinal plant supplies alongside other produce such as fruit and nuts. We aim to develop a range of expertise which can support others in establishing medicinal trees and shrubs.

Holt Wood is a 2 ½ acre site by the River Torridge in North Devon near RHS Rosemoor Gardens and the town of Great Torrington. The site was previously planted with Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir, and has been replanted during 2005-6 with a variety of native and introduced species of medicinal value. It is now a vibrant medicinal forest garden where we run courses on design and harvesting with medicinal trees and shrubs.

In the coming years we will be experimenting with different growing and harvesting arrangements to find out what is possible. We hope to have a beautiful place to visit and work in, as well as examples of self-sufficiency in medicinal and other products from trees and shrubs.

Member Project known date: 
Friday, 13 January, 2012
Contact Name: 
Anne Stobart
Telephone number: 
Holt Wood has been designed and planted to incorporate trees and shrubs with a purpose of supporting production in a sustainable way of non-timber forest products, particularly medicinal supplies in addition to herbs, fruit and nuts. We have taken careful account of the varied nature of the site, and developed a design that conserves resources such as water, fertility and wildlife whilst suiting the needs of specific medicinal trees and shrubs. For example, wide rides provide woodland edges allowing more light-demanding trees as well as smaller herbs to grow, and these are much appreciated by dragonflies and butterflies. The project is managed on a longer term sustainable basis by use of coppicing techniques and ensuring that harvests are monitored.
Project start date: 
January, 2004
St Giles in the Wood
Great Torrington, Devon EX38 7EQ
United Kingdom
Devon GB